Where to start for this week’s musings? Well; I should probably start by saying that my managerial career is getting off to a shaky start. I’m currently just about avoiding steering a College firsts team to relegation from a thirds division – but fear not, if anything goes wrong then Jim’ll fix it. Oh, hang on…
Anyway, a wiser man than me once said that supporting a football club is a journey of highs and lows. Probably.
That wise man was spot on. Over the past decade I’ve seen the highs of winning at Wembley and the lows of being miserably shat out of the Football League like last night’s takeaway.
Upon that particular journey, I’ve ended up supporting a team that currently plies its trade in the Conference North. There’s not a lot to be said for it, in all honesty. The average ‘stadium’ at that level is a field surrounded by a white picket fence and a shabby old portaloo that hasn’t even had a scent of bleach since the Cold War Era. Then there’s the fact that the league is sponsored by Vanarama – you know, the van hire company with the crap commercial, where fully grown men in uniform sing along to a poorly dubbed jingle? That said, every cloud has a silver lining: if I were to hire a van from them, Stockport County would get a hundred quid – so when you move out at the end of the year because you’ve decided you can’t stand your housemates, do us a favour, would you?
The problems in the game at lower levels are well-documented. When you look into it slightly deeper though, it isn’t just the back-end of football that’s in a mess; the whole thing is what can only be described as a ‘catastrofuck’. Last week it emerged that FIFA’s corruption report into the 2018 and 2022 World Cups was a total shambles, with even the lead investigator effectively calling it worthless diatribe. A corruption report that is fundamentally corrupt – you couldn’t make it up.
FIFA supremo Sepp Blatter, who is currently about as popular as a root canal in the footballing world, has always maintained that there’s no corruption in FIFA, that we should all carry on as normal and listen to what he’s got to say – but at this stage, I’ve lost my train of thought courtesy of the large porcine organism flapping its way past the Harry Fairhurst windows.
I would make a joke about not trusting Blatter as far as I could chuck him – but given that he’s about 4 foot 7 in high heels, that’s probably quite a distance. Needless to say, Blatter’s FIFA didn’t condemn their own actions, but still found time to slag the English off!
At the end of the day, the 2022 World Cup will happen in Qatar, despite the fact that it’s a country where alcohol is largely illegal. It doesn’t matter though; it’s not as if football supporters have a reputation for drinking at international tournaments or anything. Oh, and then there’s the part where it’s too hot to physically play football.
It’s ironic really, but then football is full of ironies; I think my current favourite one is that betting is now illegal for all football employees working in the Football League. This is an organisation which is sponsored by Sky Bet. If it wasn’t so tragic, it’d be funny.
There’s none of this nonsense in the sixth tier; no out-of-touch FIFA officials hanging around the place, and there certainly isn’t any sunshine!
Fuck it. The Conference North isn’t so bad after all.